Useless kitchen equipment. I have a ton of it, I’m ashamed to say. I shouldn’t say useless. Let’s call it “rarely used.” I have a “food marinating” contraption that supposedly is more effective than my usual baggie. Maybe it is, but I hate cleaning it. I have silicone muffin cups. I hate muffins. I never use them. I have a rice cooker. But now that I’ve discovered Trader Joe’s frozen rice, I never use that either.
But there is one item I’ve been toting around for at least 20 years – never used – that I am now in love with. Mini-tart pans. I bought them from some unknown kitchen store somewhere in the mists of time because I thought they were cute. And I’m sure they were 50 percent off.
I’m also a big fan of making something out of nothing. The other day I had three random strips of bacon left over from another project and two cute little leeks I bought at Trader Joe’s because they spoke to me. Literally. “Take us home! Get us out of this store where everyone is manhandling us! We’re French. We hate that.”
And now they were saying, “Cook us, you idiot! Why did you buy us just to sit in your vegetable drawer?” I also had a bit of leftover cream. Who has leftover cream? I always do. And I had a pie crust in the freezer, left over from another project.
So my “something from nothing” creation were these cute little tartlets. Guilt free, really, because how many calories can a little tart have? I am now completely inspired. Next up will be mincemeat tarts. I have a jar of mincemeat I bought two years ago which does not even expire for another three years. What’s up with that?
Petite Leek and Bacon Quiches
Refrigerated pie crust
2 small leeks, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
3 strips cooked bacon
6 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup heavy cream
6 mini-tart pans
Cut out six rounds from the pie dough and mold them into the tart pans. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and then bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Saute leeks in the butter over medium heat until translucent. Crumble the bacon. Beat the eggs with the cream.
Divide the leeks and bacon among the tart pans. Sprinkle with cheese and then pour the egg mixture into each pan. Bake at 350 degrees until custard is set, about 20 minutes.